Playgrounds and Physical Education

PESSPA (Physical Education, School Sport and Physical Activity)

Welcome to the H&S page on physical education in educational settings. This also now incorporates information on playground equipment and associated inspections.

The importance of physical education within schools cannot be underestimated; it can elicit physical good health and mental wellbeing, and give children and young people the opportunity to be a part of a team, or excel at an activity, bringing about a whole new outlook on life.

Whatever we do in schools, we must do it safely, but our outlook on risk must be proportionate, so that our children and young people can reap the benefits of PE and play as much as possible.

Please find included below information on how and when you need to get your playground equipment inspected – and by whom.

I am a member of the Association of Physical Education (AfPE) and therefore I have access to the huge amount of resources that they provide.  Much of this information is available in the public realm but some are documents which are ‘member only’ access, so I would need to gain permission to pass those on (sadly we don’t have a ‘corporate’ membership as with CLEAPSS). Any documents that I can share, I will do so on here.

As at 28 February 2020, the Football Association has issued new guidance over the issue of heading the ball in training and in matches, and their documents are as below.

AfPE based FA Guidance Precis – Feb 2020

AfPE Guidance – July 2020

FA Heading Guidance Chart – by age group Feb 2020

FA Heading Guidance Poster – Feb 2020

PE and Playground Equipment Inspections – Oct 2019

Health and Safety in swimming pools – UPDATED 2018

Inspection of PESSPA equipment – PE and playgrounds – AfPE

AfPE Reactivate Learning poster (2) July 2020

AfPE Reactivate Learning poster (1)

I am also posting a number of links over time of national sports bodies which may be useful. If you have any queries about PESSPA which you can’t find elsewhere, please do email me at the usual address: .

PE LINKS: (more will be added as time goes on – let me know if something is missing!)

Football Association – an article from the FA website which has extra resources such as ‘concussion guidance’ and posters.

Rugby Union – including ‘Rugby Safe’.

British Gymnastics – their health and safety page.

Swim England – a link to all their safety articles on their website.